Combining mechanistic and organic approaches to change: A case study on a Swedish national transformation program for medium sized enterprises
Paper in proceeding, 2011

Purpose: Produktionslyftet (PL) is a national programme for enhancing the performance of medium sized manufacturing enterprises in Sweden. The programme was initiated in 2007 and lasted until 2010 and comprised of 60 enterprises. The programme was deemed successful and a second version called Produktionslyftet 2 (PL2) was subsequently launched. PL2 is currently on-going (2010-2012) and is currently working with approximately 40 companies. A third version, PL3, is being planned for. The programme consists of 3 interacting activities: an education in Lean Production for at least 2 employees, workshops on the companies for education and training, and finally two consultants from the programme stays at the company and aids in their transformation. All in all, this takes 18 months. Four years after the start of PL, the experiences that follow after working with this number of medium sized companies are valuable. The purpose of this case study paper is to describe how Produktionslyftet operates, and to reflect on how the methodology has evolved in Produktionslyftet. Methodology/Approach: One of the authors is involved in consulting and education in Produktionslyftet as well as designing parts of the methodology. This allows for access to data, which comes from own experiences as well as both formal and informal interviews with other consultants of the programme. Findings: During the evolution of Produktionslyftet, there has been a move towards a combination of a mechanistic and organic approach to change, where in the beginning the mechanistic approach dominated. Originality/Value of paper: Transformations and change processes in medium sized enterprises are not well described in literature. This paper gives a practical example on a programme that is aiding numerous medium sized manufacturing enterprises in transforming. It suggests that an organic view on change is needed in these circumstances.


medium sized companies

organizational development


change management



Marcus Assarlind

Chalmers, Technology Management and Economics, Quality Sciences

14th QMOD conference on Quality and Service Sciences ICQSS 2011

Subject Categories

Production Engineering, Human Work Science and Ergonomics

Other Mechanical Engineering

Areas of Advance


Driving Forces

Innovation and entrepreneurship

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